At the Woodford Folk Festival 2010-11
|18th Administrator of the Northern Territory|
31 October 2003 - 30 October 2007
Edward Joseph Egan
6 July 1932
Coburg, Melbourne, Australia
|Domestic partner||Nerys Evans|
Egan was born in Coburg, Melbourne, moving to the Northern Territory in 1949 at the age of 16 in search of work and adventure. In his early career with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs he was mainly in the bush and engaged in jobs such as stockwork and crocodile hunting while employed as a patrol officer and reserve superintendent. Later he was a teacher at bush schools. He was a member of the first National Reconciliation Council.
Egan was the sole teacher at the Newcastle Waters Station in 1965 and was stranded at the property for six weeks when the creek flooded. During this time no supplies were able to be delivered so Egan had to hunt for animals, such as bush turkey for food. He later returned to the station in 2012 for the book launch of Middle of Everywhere about life in the area.
Egan began recording in 1969 with "Drinkers of the Northern Territory" and has released 28 albums, mostly themed around outback life, history and Aboriginal affairs. He has been a consistent performer and tourer with his choice of instrument being an empty beer carton (aka Fosterphone or Victorphone) played by tapping with his hands and fingers. He has been a prolific writer and performer of contemporary folk songs. Many of these, such as "Gurindji Blues", recognise Indigenous Australian heritage. He introduced Rolf Harris to the song "Two Little Boys".
These are available individually and as boxed sets on DVD from Flashback Entertainment.
On 14 September 2005, he was awarded a one-year extension to his term of office by Jim Lloyd, the Federal Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads. This was further extended for another year to serve until 30 October 2007.
Egan has presented and narrated 13 episodes of This Land Australia, a series devoted to iconic Australian people and places. He also wrote and performed the show's theme song of the same name. He has been a co-host of the lifestyle show The Great Outdoors.
Egan was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1993 Australia Day Honours List for services to the Aboriginal people, and for "an ongoing contribution to the literary heritage of Australia through song and verse".
In 2004, Egan was promoted to an Officer of the Order (AO) as acknowledgement of "the significance of [his] continuing contribution to the community culminating in his being sworn-in as the 18th Administrator of the Northern Territory".
Egan was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Tamworth Country Music Festival awards ceremony.
Ted was the receiver of the National Folk Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award on 02/04/2015 at NFF's Opening Ceremony in Canberra. Egan performed four songs at the event, including one about pioneering women in Australia.